According to the Women’s Health Organization, the most common mental health disorders during pregnancy are depression and anxiety. Also, pregnant women with depression or anxiety are less likely to care for themselves properly. Stress during pregnancy can lead to complications during pregnancy and at birth.
My Mental Health Pregnancy Story
My own pregnancy with Andy was very challenging and stressful. Here I was an unmarried, young Latina living with her Ultra-Catholic mother and teenage brother as well as little to no support from anyone. I was the only one happy about my pregnancy. My mother stopped talking to me for the first 5 months, my adult sister was disappointed and angry and my partner was sad because I refused to live with him at his mother’s house. I also didn’t have many friends at this point. Pregnancy has a great way of showing a person’s true colors. It was not ideal situation for a pregnancy.
I trudged along pregnant and working trying to keep myself together for my baby. But, I couldn’t keep it going. Eventually, I could not hide my feelings. When I was 5 months pregnant, my ob/gyn asked me how I was feeling and I burst into tears. She then set me up with the hospital social worker who connected me with my first therapist, Alma.
It felt so GOOD to have support from someone. To feel like everything was about me for an hour a week and not feel at all selfish about it. It is because of this experience with my own mental health issues and therapy that led me to become a mental health counselor. I wanted to give others a place to be selfish and feel like they are the most important person in the world. More importantly, I was able to learn ways to manage my mental health and learn coping skills to help me at home.
How to Get Help
If you’re pregnant and are feeling depressed or worried, you have a number of options available.You can call your insurance provider for a list of mental health resources. You can also speak with your ob/gyn like I did and be connected to a social worker. A third option is that you can also check out your state’s social services section for mental health resources.
My Happy Ending
I spent a long time working with Alma during various stages in my life. During my pregnancy, when my mother passed away and any other challenges that came along my way. At the end, I was gifted with an 8lb, 7oz miracle.